New music from Eminem? Yes, please. While the summer heats up with music from…
- Posted on Mar 13th 2010 10:22AM by Nick Scott
Now with one state down and 49 to go, the group prepares to overtake the nation with their breath of fresh air into the Electro-Rock genre of dance music.
The group is eager to begin with a performance at the upcoming SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Spinner recently caught up with Mike and Ben where we spoke about college, Colorado's dance scene and the importance of competent sound techs.
How did the group form?
Mike: We all lived in the dorms together at CU in Boulder. We started jamming together, and then it eventually developed.
Ben: Yeah, there's a bit more to it, we started as a guitar and drum trio. Over the last two years we completely switched our style and sound to a fully electronic setup, but we kept the live drums.
What made you decide to switch?
Ben: We were trying to do dance music and the sound just wasn't there. We've implemented laptops and electronics to fill up the background and give fullness to the sound. We took probably a year off and learned all the electronics and got full into the pre-production, just took it to the next level.
Do you miss the feel of playing the live instruments?
Ben: We are more comfortable now, and [this is] where we've seen our successes. We feel right at home, the musical background does help a lot.
How did you come up the name 'Savoy'?
Mike: We were trying to make dance music and, in fact, I think we played a few shows without a name. There was this dancehall in Harlem called Savoy Ballroom, and it was a place to come and dance. It brought a generation of youth all there to dance and have fun. We want to be the eqivalent for our generation.
Who would you cite as influences?
Ben: We try to combine the rock and roll live experience, like the massive production of the 80s arena rock, with the infusion of club culture. We bounce back and forth; we'll listen to everyone from Led Zeppelin to Dire Straits to Daft Punk. We mesh together endless influences, a lot of the underground rave scene too.
Mike: Hip-hop, too; yeah we just try and fuse it all together.
And how would you describe the resulting sound?
Mike: Pretty original, we just try to throw a huge party. A lot of the stuff we do involves building [the sound] up a lot and dropping it really hard.
Ben: Stylistically, electro rock or something like electro bass lines and techno beats. We throw in different tempos, not just Electro. We've seen a lot of shows where they just play the same beats per minute, only highs and lows. We try to mesh them together to have a much higher energy, and I think that is what allows us to play clubs and rock venues alike.
On the subject of your live shows, do find your crowds are better in Colorado or out of state?
Ben: Well, we just started to travel a lot. In fact, we just signed to a booking agency last week. When we play in Colorado its to bigger crowds for that reason; when we go out of town a lot of markets is our first show, so people don't know what to expect. Colorado is killing it for us right now, a bunch of high profile shows.
Besides having the local background, what is it about Colorado that helps produce such a successful dance music scene?
Ben: It's really the only place in the middle of the country past Chicago that is going to get national acts on their way to the West Coast. The kids really like to get down, a lot of recreational stuff. Everyone is in the party attitude.
Mike: Plus there are a lot of colleges, so a lot of young kids; they change the music scene. They are on the forefront of it all.
In that case, do you find your crowds and fan bases are primarily from the college circuit?
Ben: There is a lot of big music in college towns, and a lot of kids who go to live music. We do have a huge college following, yet when we play in densely urban areas, it's very diverse. We actually pride ourselves on branching a lot of different age groups, we check our ticket counts after shows, and we find it's pretty split between over or under 21.
Is there a difference to vibe of the shows between the college towns and the more densely populated areas?
Ben: College kids just love to get fucked up at shows. The scene has a lot more to do with it. For example in L.A. everyone looks over their shoulder to see what the rest of the crowd is doing before they make a move themselves. Then in New York, it's a more Indie vibe; everyone's trying to get on board with the next big thing, and so they are more willing to let go.
Now this is your first SXSW, what spurred the decision to go?
Ben: We got a bunch of different offers. We've played in Austin before and it's fun, plus [the festival] is known for up and coming acts.
Mike: We see people in the industry taking huge steps to fit it into their schedules, seemed like the place to be.
So what would we find in your festival survival kit?
Mike: A good sound system.
Ben: A sound guy that is capable of dealing with issues, like to keep one of those in our back pockets.
Mike: A couple of subs.
Ben: Yeah, a couple of subs and a pack of cigs. We are pretty bare bones.
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